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"Pudding!” he exclaimed. “Why, bless me, so it is! What !” looking at it nearer. “You don't mean to say it's a batter-pudding !”
“Yes, it is indeed.”
“Why, a batter-pudding,” he said, taking up a table-spoon, “is my favorite pudding! Ain't that lucky? Come on, little 'un, and let's see who'll get most.' The waiter certainly got most.
He entreated me 10 more than once to come in and win, but what with
his table-spoon to my tea-spoon, his despatch to my despatch, and his appetite to my appetite, I was left far behind at the first mouthful, and had no chance
with him. I never saw any one enjoy a pudding so 15 much, I think; and he laughed, when it was all gone, as if his enjoyment of it lasted still.
It was a little disconcerting to me, to find, when I was being helped up behind the coach, that I was supposed to have eaten all the dinner without any assist
I discovered this from overhearing the lady in the bow-window say to the guard, "Take care of that child, George, or he'll burst !” and from observing that the women-servants who were about the place came
out to look and giggle at me as a young phenomenon. 25 My unfortunate friend the waiter, who had quite
recovered his spirits, did not appear to be disturbed by this, but joined in the general admiration without
being at all confused. If I had any doubt of him, I suppose this half awakened it; but I am inclined to believe that with the simple confidence of a child, and the natural reliance of a child upon superior years (qualities I am very sorry any children should pre-5 maturely change for worldly wisdom), I had no serious mistrust of him on the whole, even then.
II. THE FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL
David arrives at the school before it opens; and at the request of Mr. Murdstone is unjustly punished by being made to wear a placard “He bites."
Tommy Traddles was the first boy who returned. He introduced himself by informing me that I should find his name on the right-hand corner of the gate, 10 over the top bolt; upon that I said, “Traddles ?” to which he replied, “The same,” and then he asked me for a full account of myself and family.
It was a happy circumstance for me that Traddles came back first. He enjoyed my placard so much 15 that he saved me from the embarrassment of either disclosure or concealment, by presenting me to every other boy who came back, great or small, immediately on his arrival, in this form of introduction, “Look here! Here's a game!” Happily, too, the greater 20 part of the boys came back low-spirited, and were not
so boisterous at my expense as I had expected. Some of them certainly did dance about me like wild Indians, and the greater part could not resist the temptation of pretending that I was a dog, and patting and 5 smoothing me lest I should bite, and saying, “Lie down, Sir!” and calling me Towzer. This was naturally
confusing, among so many strangers, and cost me some tears, but on the whole it was much better than I had anticipated.
I was not considered as being formally received into the school, however, until J. Steerforth arrived. Before this boy, who was reputed to be a great scholar, and was very good-looking, and at least half-a-dozen years
my senior, I was carried as before a magistrate. He inquired, under a shed in the playground, into the particulars of my punishment, and was pleased to express his opinion that it was “a jolly shame”; for which I became bound to him ever afterwards.
“What money have you got, Copperfield ?” he said, walking aside with me when he had disposed of my affair in these terms.
I told him seven shillings.
“You had better give it to me to take care of,” he 10 said. “At least, you can if you like. You needn't if you don't like.”
I hastened to comply with his friendly suggestion, and opening Peggotty's purse, turned it upside down into his hand.
“Do you want to spend anything now?” he asked
“No, thank you,” I replied.
“You can if you like, you know,” said Steerforth. “Say the word.”
“No, thank you, Sir," I repeated.
“Perhaps you'd like to spend a couple of shillings or so, in a bottle of currant wine by and by, up in the bedroom?” said Steerforth. “You belong to my bedroom, I find.” "
It certainly had not occurred to me before, but I said, Yes, I should like that.
“Very good,” said Steerforth. “You'll be glad to spend another shilling or so, in almond cakes, I dare
I said, Yes, I should like that, too.
“And another shilling or so in biscuits, and another in fruit, eh?” said Steerforth. “I say, young Copperfield, you're going it !”
I smiled because he smiled, but I was a little troubled in my mind, too.
“Well,” said Steerforth. “We must make it stretch as far as we can; that's all. I'll do the best in my power for you. I can go out when I like, and I'il smuggle the prog in.” With these words he put the
money in his pocket, and kindly told me not to make 15 myself uneasy; he would take care it should be all right.
He was as good as his word, if that were all right which I had a secret misgiving was nearly all wrong
for I feared it was a waste of my mother's two half20 crowns — though I had preserved the piece of paper
they were wrapped in: which was a precious saving. When we went upstairs to bed, he produced the whole seven shillings' worth, and laid it out on my bed in the moonlight, saying:
“There you are, young Copperfield, and a royal spread you've got !”
I couldn't think of doing the honors of the feast, at